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American Perspectives

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Us 67, Betty Ford 25, Mrs. Ford 20, Heaven 12, Arizona 11, U.s. 11, Mexico 8, Washington 8, United States 7, Michigan 6, California 5, Mr. Aguilar 5, Jack 5, Steve 4, Lord 4, Jesus Christ 4, O'malley 4, Gerald Ford 3, Texas 3, Betty 3,
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  CSPAN    American Perspectives    News/Business. Historical and  
   recent cultural and political events.  

    July 16, 2011
    8:00 - 11:00pm EDT  

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have this wonderful unlicensed segment. we cannot even imagine what kind of innovations may come on the horizon. it is a very exciting thing. .
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>> at the commission it's still under review. so this summer was a key time for the building up of a record, especially the department of justice, and i think if we start to see late summer come around and department of justice hasn't said it would file a suit to block it, for instance, i think that might mean then we're talking about what kind of conditions might be placed on the merger and the department of justice would be the ones to require that. >> do you see at all the glaad issue, a lot of their members resigning, they endorsed the merger because they got money from at&t? do you see that mucking it up at all? >> it's certainly welcome to hear from third parties as to whether or not they support or
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oppose a particular merger. our job is to look at the facts and how the facts pertain to the existing law so one group being happy or unhappy with it doesn't really affect my analysis of it. >> do you think there is any way the merger can get down -- done this year? >> absolutely. it would be my hope it would get done before year's end. the fcc has a 180-day shot clock i think. you should know better than i. and we should be able to get it done in that time frame which is large. i see no reason why we can't get it done by the end of the year. >> a separate issue involves a company called byte squared, trying to build a new wireless network across the country. they got approval for some satelliteses they use to build
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a network. concern has come up because there are jetways farely nearby -- gene upshaw -- gps devices fairly nearby the do you think this is something the full fehse should look at? -- fay vincent -- fcc should look at? >> well, let's have the engineers look at it and give us the most dispassionate report they can as a result -- on what's going to happen as a result of this. thus far it's not risen to the level of the commissioners, the four of us. it's right where it should be. to have career public servants examine this, with lots of engineering initials after their names, to look at it. i think light squared is already working on a planl b to
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use frequencies lower down or further away than the g.p.s. frequency. we've had a lot of agencies get involved. we certainly don't want anything -- any of that to even be a remote possibility. hopefully there is a win-win situation here. we should take our time, not feel rushed shed and look for the best possible solution the >> we have about three minutes left so if you have other topics you wanted to discuss? >> sure. let's talk about media ownership. recently the third circuit sent back to the agency your rules on the crossover of newspapers and tv stations based on administrative concerns that the public hadn't been given enough time to comment on these. do you think you fumbled the ball on these? >> well, according to the third circuit, yes, we did. >> you should have published in
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the wall street journal. [laughter] >> i don't think you would have gotten any revenue from it though. but anyway that was not adequate public notice for notice and comment purposes under the administrative procedures act and that's probably the right call. i was concerned about that at the time. i did think that the record contains substantial information that allowed us to go forward with the vote, which is one reason i voted to go forward with a very meek, mild, almost pathetic relaxation of the cross-ownership ban. the third circuit itself in another decision pretty much gave the fcc the green light to go forward with doing away with that ban. i think the ban has caused a reduction in voices in traditional media and not encouraged diversity as it was intended. >> do you have a sense that any
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of your democratic colleagues on the fcc agree with you on this? or is it once again dead and not going to be proposed? >> i don't know. i do want to speak for them, but they don't want me to speak for them. i would hope they would look at the reality of the media marketplace. it's incredibly competitive and dynamic. all of us as consumers ar wash in data from countless portals. >> finally, the supreme court is going to be taking up the fcc's indecency regulations and whether you have control over that. any predictions on how this is going to go? >> i don't have a prediction but hopefully we will get a decision by july 4 of next year. as you know, i'm a strong defender of the first amendment. but at the same time, my third week on the job i attended a bill signing where a large
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bipartisan majority of the congress voted to strengthen the fines for indecency. we need guidance from the court. i want this to be expeditious. i'm glad to see the commission started to dismiss some of the complaints against cable channels and satellite channels, those that are easily dismissible, if they fell in the safe harbor, for example, after 10:00 p.m. but we have a backlog the commission may not get to until the supreme court rules. >> we are out of time. f.c.c. commissioner robert mcdowell, thank you for being on "the communicators." amy schatz, you, too. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> next the california funeral services for former first lady betty ford.
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then we will show you the eulogies from michigan. first lady michelle obama, three former first ladies and former president george w. bush were among the invited guests at the funeral in palm desert, california, tuesday. betty ford died july 8 at the age of 93. this is an hour and 25 minutes.
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>> i am the resurrection and the life, saith the lord. he that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live. whoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. i know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. though this body be destroyed, yet shall i see god, whom i shall see for myself, and my
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eyes behold as not a stranger. for, none of us live to himself and no man dieth to himself. if we live, we live unto the lord and if we die, we die unto the lord. whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the lord's. blessed are the dead who die in the lord. even so, saith the spirit, for they rest from their labors.
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>> the lord be you. >> and also with you. >> let us pray. o god of grace and glory, remember our sister betty. we thank you for giving her to us to know and love as a companion. in your boundless compassion, console us who mourn. give us faith to see in death, the gate to eternal life so that in quiet confidence we may continue our course on earth until, by your call, we are reunited with those who have gone before, through jesus christ our lord, amen. >> amen. >> most merciful god whose wisdom is beyond our understanding, deal graciously with mike, jack, steve, susan,
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and their families as they grieve. surround them with your love that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss but have confidence in your goodness and strength to meet the days to come through jesus christ our lord. amen. please be seated.
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>> a reading from the book of isiah. "hast thou not known or heard that the everlasting god, the creator of the end of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. he gives power to the faint. to them that have no might he increases strength. even the youth shall fall faint and be weary and utterly fall. but they that wait upon the lord shall renew their strength. they shall mount up with wings as eagles. they shall run and not be weary. and they shall walk and not faint."
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the word of the lord. >> thanks be to god. ♪ [singing hymn]
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♪>> a reading from the first
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letter of paul to the corinthians. "if i speak in the tongues of mortals and angels but do not have love, i am a noisy gong or clanging cymbal. if i have all faith so as to remove mountains but do not have love, i am nothing. if i give away my possessions
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and hand over my body so that i may boast but do not have love, i gained nothing. love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious or arrogant or rude. it does not insist on its own way. it is not irritable or resentful. it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in truth. it bears all things, believes all things, hopes and endures all things. love never ends. as for prophecies, they come to an end. as for tongues, they will cease. knowledge will come to an end. but we know only in part and we prophesy in part. but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.
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when i was a child, i spoke like a child, thought like a child, reasoned like a child. when i became an adult, i put an end to childish ways. for now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face-to-face. now i know in part. then i will know fully, even as i have fully been known. now faith, hope and love abide. these three, and the greatest of these is love." the word of the lord. >> thanks be to god. >> faith, hope and love. three remarkable qualities of the human spirit. qualities that we as her family
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have seen and experienced in mom throughout her entire life. faith in god and in jesus christ, as her maker and provider, her redeemer, counselor and friend. mom's faith was especially evidenced through her personal renewal in faith late in her life at the beginning of her recovery from her dependency on alcohol and prescription drugs. we know of mom's faith. mom's faith in the value, the dignity, the worth of her fellow man, and her faith in each of her children, in her brother and sister, her sons
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and daughters-in-law, her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, as men and women of good character with great potential and great promise to lead and serve others for the good of all. we know of mom's hope that god's design and his gracious purposes for all mankind would be worked out and fulfilled through the human history. and we know of her hope that each of us as family might discover and embrace that special call of god on our lives and for our futures. and finally, mom's love.
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we know of her love. her love of god and his personal touch on her life, bringing good out of evil, healing out of brokenness, joy and dancing -- yes, dancing. she was quite a dancer. bringing dancing out of sorrow. we know her love for dad. as she called him "my boyfriend" after 48 years of -- for 58 years of marriage. just yesterday, my sister susan was rummaging through some of their special family letters and came across a western union telegram from january 1, 1948.
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it was from gerry ford. he was in santa monica, california at the rose bowl. and he sent this to miss betty warren. that's my mom. he writes -- "miss you, betty. wish you were here. loads of love, gerry." what a beautiful journey they shared together as husband and wife. faithfully standing by each other through the hard times, through the good times, through the challenges, through the crucibles of life, only to grow stronger in their devotion to
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one another and closer in their united love. and we know of mom's love for her family. each one of us as her children, sons and daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great grandchildren will each have our own stories, stories to tell, memories to cherish of how mom loved us. how she took the time to know us -- each on in our own special way, and to love us so well. we know of mom's love for others, whether it be a friend in need or a patient at the betty ford center, mom extended herself freely in love and compassion to so many.
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once again, her desire to know a person's heart, to know their brokenness, their struggles, and her willingness to share and care for them through a word of grace and acts of mercy. so, as her extended family, we are here this day to give thanks for her precious life. we celebrate her life, we rejoice in the goodness of it and how she lived it to its full, leaving no regrets, only hope and joy.
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we celebrate the precious life of faith, of hope, and of love, but the greatest of these was her love. ♪>> amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
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that saved a wretch like me. i once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now i see. t'was grace that taught my heart to fear.
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and grace, my fears relieved. how precious did that grace appear the hour i first believed. through many dangers, toils and snares i have already come;
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'tis grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home. ♪when we've been there ten thousand years bright shining as the sun we've no less days
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to sing god's praise than when we first begun than when we first begun >> the holy gospel of our lord jesus christ according to
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matthew -- seeing the multitudes, jesus went up into a mountain and when he was set, his disciples came unto him. he opened his mouth and it taught them, saying, "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom be heaven. blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted. blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see god. blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of god.
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blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. the gospel of the lord. >> praise be to christ.
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>> betty ford was my friend and i am honored to be here today to help celebrate the life of this truly remarkable woman. i never imagined when we first met 40 years ago that we would develop such a close personal friendship. at that time, she was the wife
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of the vice president of united states and she danced with martha graham dance company and performed in carnegie hall. she was a leader in the fight for women's rights and she had come to georgia with the michigan art train. a project taking six cars filled with great art to rural communities across the country. jimmy was governor and we invited betty to stay at the governor's mansion. i was nervous. she was the most distinguished guest we had ever had but when she arrived, she was so warm and friendly that she immediately put me at ease and we had a good time together. of course, i did not tell her than that my husband was thinking of running for president.
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the next time i met betty was at the white house shortly after the 1976 election. it might have been a very awkward moment, i know from personal experience, but it was a difficult time for us. she was just betty, as grateful as always. as i assumed the responsibility to first lady, i had an excellent role model and a tough act to follow. betty broke new ground in speaking out on women's issues, her public disclosure of her own battle with breast cancer lifted the veil of secrecy from this terrible disease. she used the influence of the office of first lady to promote early detection and millions of women are in her debt today. she was never afraid to speak to the truth, even about the
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most sensitive subject including her own struggle with alcohol and painkillers. she got some criticism. i thought she was wonderful and her honesty she gave to this every single day. for example, she helped me recover from jimmy's loss in 1980. she worked tirelessly as the former first lady to establish the betty ford center. she showed me that there is life after the white house and it can be a very full life. in 1984, we both participated in a panel at the ford presidential library on the role of first ladies. we found that our interests in addictive diseases and mental health came together in many ways and we knew we could be a stronger force it to work as partners and we did for many years, sometimes traveling to washington to work for our causes. especially parity for mental
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health and substance use disorders in all health insurance plans, and i am so glad she lived to see this happen. we did not get everything we wanted but we got a good start. i know that made her as happy as it made me. we talked about it. when we would go to washington, she would round up the republicans and i would round up the democrats and i think we were fairly effective most of the time. after the 1984 conference, betty ford wrote me a note that i still treasure where she wrote about women who had the courage of their convictions and did what others were too timid to attempt. isn't that the most appropriate description of betty? someone who was willing to do things a bit differently than they had been done before. someone who had the courage to -- and grace to fight fear, stigma, and prejudice
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wherever she encountered it. it is almost impossible today to imagine a time when people were afraid to reveal that they had cancer or to speak publicly about personal struggles with alcohol or addiction. she was a tireless advocate for those struggling, some struggling alone, ashamed to seek help. it was a privilege to work with her to bring addiction and mental health problems into the light. historians have said that our husbands developed a closer relationship than any other presidents after leaving the white house. i think betty and i had a similar relationship. in closing, i want to add that betty and i shared another passion -- our husbands and our families. her partnership with gerry in public and private have healed -- helped heal the nation and strengthened the family unit in its many, varied forms.
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the love of her children, michael, jack, steven, and susan was unbounded. her grandchildren were a source of constant pleasure. when we got together later in life, we talked about our hopes and dreams for our children and grandchildren and our great grandchildren. to you here who mourn loss of a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother today, jimmy and i extend our most sincere sympathies and want you to know of the deep love and respect we have for this extraordinary woman. it was my privilege to know her, thank you.
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>> good afternoon, im jeff. i am an alcoholic. >> hi, jeff. >> well, betty, we're all here now. some of us here have been working toward this day for quite some time, as you know. that is what happens when you
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are the first family. people have to be ready, ready to honor you in just the right way, ready to remember you in just the right way, ready to describe our memories of you in just the right way, ready to pray for you and your family in just the right way. but many of us here today, i dare say perhaps most of us here today, have no recollection at all of you, betty, as first family or, perish the thought, of the u.s. first lady. i never knew you that way. i think i can speak for thousands of us who reclaimed our lives just a few short
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miles from here. we never knew you that way. we knew you as mrs. ford, founder, chair, lecturer, hour our omnipresent face of recovery here in the desert, in grand rapids, in vail, on "larry king," "good morning america," so many other tv shows, and then on campus. we got to know you as betty. we saw you in the rooms.
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we listened to you tell stories about your own feelings, your own guilts, you're own ups, your own downs, your own memories of loneliness and fear and shame and we could relate to that, betty. we felt close to you for that. all of a sudden, it was ok for us to have those feelings because you made us understand that it did not have to be that way anymore. and so, we were embarking on this journey together with you but it was very scary.
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we had no clue how to operate or do anything, me without vodka. i had no clue that it was possible to feel any other way other than scared to death, hysterical. i had no clue that there was a way out of my desperate loneliness and my overwhelming guilt. but i remembered what you told us the first week we were here back in september of 1983. i remember you said it did not have to be that way anymore, that it had been that way for you and that by listening to your counselors down in long beach and by opening up to
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other patients who were there with you and by speaking openly and honestly with your loving family and friends, each day began to get better. as you slowly learned how to peel away those horrifying feelings of sadness, of anger, and of guilt. you said something i have never forgotten. you said you had discovered that you were allergic to alcohol. that rang the bell for me. that, betty, made it understandable. i could grasp allergic. so we began to understand that
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if you could do it with all the pressures on you every day living in the white house for goodness sake with the leader of the free world, maybe, just maybe if we worked at it like you told us to, maybe we could also get some relief from the darkness that we had become almost comfortable with, from the abyss that we had fallen into, from, yes, hell. so, day-by-day, one by one, with the loving care and protection of your amazing staff of volunteers, we began to understand maybe, just maybe, if i do what they tell me, if i do as you told us you
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did, betty, maybe there is hope. maybe there is relief today, tonight when i finally go to sleep. if i can go just one more day without a drink, just one day like you said, excuse me, strange time to pick that up, wasn't it? in just one day like you said, then maybe i will be able to feel just a tiny bit better and so off we went on this journey into the wilderness called treatment.
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off we went, scared, angry, scared, lonely, scared, terrified but the warm and loving embrace for us of us that you and leonard had envisioned so many years ago at this incredible place of healing began to take hold. lectures, groups, meetings, group, jobs, group, journal, group, pool aerobics, group, feed the ducks, group. my goodness gracious, we were beginning to learn that it was
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actually ok to trust each other, that it was actually ok to be ourselves, that the process of purging ourselves of those decades of poison, that it was actually possible to walk away from our toxic behavior and that the more confidence we were able to build within ourselves and the more we watched and listened to your regular talks to us of reassurance and support, the more we began to understand what this thing recovery was all about. as the years have changed and as the world has changed more than any of us would ever have believed, the wisdom and support we take every day from the rooms has guided us in the right way and you were the one
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who introduced us to this, betty. you were the one who helped us understand we can walk with god, we can walk together, each and every day and our lives will be better. what a gift to us, to several generations of those like us who need help and to just need to learn how to generate a little pride and self-respect. what a gift ! what a profound legacy. i remember you saying so often, don't thank me, thank yourself. youre the one who is doing it , with god's help.
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ok, then, thank you, thank you, god for bringing us this extraordinary lady, this brave and inspirational pioneer into our lives, all of our lives, even those who have not experienced the gift of treatment or recovery, all of us are supremely better for having known you, betty, for having been inspired by you and for having shared love with you. may god now grant you the peace and reward that you helped so many of us learn about and experience. yes, god's grace upon you, dear betty.
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the world is so much a better place for your having been here with us. you will never know how much we miss you and, oh yes, before i finish, please give your boyfriend a hug from us. lord knows we miss him, too. godspeed, betty, godspeed.
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>> how honored i am to be in this beautiful church with this magnificent choir before so many distinguished people who have served and continue to serve our country, especially the ford family. and to talk about this wonderful woman. when mrs. ford assigned me the daunting honor of speaking at her funeral, it would come as a surprise to none of you that the assignment came with instructions. mrs. ford wanted me to remind
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everyone of the way things used to be in washington and i would not be at all surprised if she timed her death to make sure that she could convey the message of comity during this week when if seems so badly needed. [laughter] a couple of months ago when the statue of president ford was unveiled in the regal rotunda of the united states capitol, the four children recalled happily their days playing hide and seek under the watchful gaze of george washington and having times rolling in those secrets spaces of the capital, sometimes coming up on something truly spooky and formed the most vivid memories of many of us congressional brats. as we are not so kindly called. but there are many others that we share. we all, for instance, have strom thurmond stories.
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talk about spooky jp after all, he was there most of our lives. al gore tells about senator thurmond stepping on his truck when he first met him. we girls have different stories. since you came up in the 1960's rather than the 19350's, suspense, i don't know if you had to parade down the runways congressional wives staged for good causes. at one time, one of the women actually scored a coup by scoring robert goulet to croon "if ever i would leave you." susans mother escaped none of those 1950's rituals. my mother remembers that the reason she and bet eford performed in every fashion show was that they were the same size the models were, that is, small.
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i must say that in the retrospectives over the weekend, it brought back my earliest memories of how incredibly beautiful betty ford was. our mothers were involved in the congressional club so many of us put in time at the dancing schools. trisha nixon cox, lind -- lynda johnson rob, i remember it well. even some of the boys had to do that. we all got copies of the congressional club cookbook as wedding presents. mrs. ford's vichysoisse was not bad. and more wedding presents we all received. glass items with the nakes -- names of members of congress etched into them. it is very nice anyway. i think of tommy every time i serve cake even though it looked like i stole the plate from his office. the worst present was the department of agriculture yearbook. true story.
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we all had mothers who were away and -- fathers who were away a lot and mothers who ran everything and we groaned and giggled together about it because we were all friends and that is what betty ford wanted me to talk about here today. a couple of years before he died, i came to the desert to interview president ford on a series on former presidents and the constitution. when we turned the cameras off, the president turned to me and he said," i don't know what's going on today in washington. i just don't understand it. when your father was majority leader and i was minority leader, we would get together on the hill and go downtown to the press club and we would say, ok, what are we going to argue about? it was a real debate. we had different views about means to an end and generally disagreed and we were certainly partisan. but after we went at it, we would get back in the cab together and be best friends.
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actually by that time they had drivers and i think the cab part was slightly exaggerated. we all remember douglas frazier and roger brooks, the wonderful drivers. they would be horrified. but the point is the saipe. that friendship made governing possible. they did not question each other's motives for their commitment to the country. underlying those across the aisle and across the dome, congressional friendship was the relationships among the wives. .
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.mrs. ford plays all those roles. cub scouts and den mother's seem weak until you have tried it. [laughter] she was a leader in the congressional prayer group and yet her official title as it was for most political wives was a housewife. it was a title she shared with many american women and it gave her a great understanding about what women's lives were like. she said once,"being a good housewife seems to be a much tougher job than going to the office and getting paid for it." she was giving words to the dirty little secret that men always knew. over the years, she spoke out more forcefully for women's rights. she strongly defended the housewife's role. no wonder women all over the country have spent this past weekend loving her anew. one talent that wives were expected to cultivate was that of first great campaigner, of which we have a few here.
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it was expected the wives of house members, the house-wives who face an election every two years who had to really learn how to campaign. by the time he ran for president, gerald ford sported the "elect betty ford's husband" button but people in michigan were expressing that sentiment for years. the constant campaigning brought political wives together even if they were on different sides. they had the same complaints and that meant they forged tight connections that extended to the men as well. they would bring the men together, serve them drinks and a good meal, listen to their stories, and make them behave. some of that good behavior carried over to the corridors of congress. it was a role that political wives had played since the beginning of this republic and
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it has worked. now former presidents and members all get together nicely and it is nice getting together after the fact. we wish some of you would come together before hand. [laughter] the friendship between my mother and betty ford spanned more than 60 years. it became especially close when the couples made their historic trip to china in 1972. i asked my mother yesterday what she and mrs. ford did on that trip. at first, she joked that she is not sure she wanted to tell. [laughter] then she lit up, remembering one day when just the two of them went out without a good interpreter and they were getting frustrated about their inability to communicate. finally, mrs. ford turned to mama and said, "what difference does it make?" mama laughed at the memory and said of course she was right as
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she was about everything. it was only a few months later that my father's plane was lost over alaska and the fords were devastated. they were so attentive to our family. mrs. ford was really undone and yet she spent so much time shoring up my mother through that period and my mother said softly yesterday,"she was such a great help to me." these women held each other and their husbands and hounded us children and they helped the nation. they regularly conspired to convince theer lawmaker mates to pass legislation that would help educate and care for children, house old and poor people, improve health outcomes for all, and, yes, give equal rights to women. the betty ford support for the equal rights amendment did not become full-blown as first lady.
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she had been pushing this for years and made sure her husband got the message. president ford told me years later that he did not have a lot of pressure politically on the outside but from inside his own family. mrs. ford was a very ardent supporter of equal rights for women and he used to get lectures quite frequently. he got pushed to act on the floor of the house in favor of it and he did. he voted for it and he thought it was a good approach but it was a very controversial provision. there is your midwestern understatement. as susan said in an interview, been first lady did not change her mother. it gave her a podium to stand on to express the views she had formed in her years as a congressional wife. betty ford also always knew when to step off the podium and how to avoid the worst of labels for any woman of the era, especially the political wife. she was never strident.
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she could use her candid good humor to diffuse any discussion about whether she was overstepping her bounds as first lady, some of you have never heard anything about. [laughter] at the national press club, she told the men assembled -- the women in the press were confined to the balcony -- she told the men they had often heard her say that whatever makes gerry happy makes me happy. if you believe that, you are in deep and worthy of your profession. [laughter] she had them and she made it look easy. it was not easy. through betty ford's courage, we later learned just how hard those years were. mrs. ford had something very important going for her, she knew who she was. before her sudden ascension to first lady, she said," i will do the best i can and if they don't like it, they can kick me out but they cannot make me somebody i am not."
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she knew, like her friends the other congressional women, she knew that her husband could not be who he was if she were not who she was. president ford gave me a glimpse of the importance of that strength when he told me," the night before i took the oath of office, i held betty's hand and repeated together from proverbs. i made the unforgivable mistake of failing to ask which proverbs. i know which one they said today. it is of course the goodwife. "she opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the teaching of kindness. she looked to the ways of her household and eats not the bread of idleness. her husband praises her. many daughters have done virtuously but you surpass them
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all. favor is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman that fears the lord shall be praised. give her the fruit of her hand and let her own works praise her in the gates." your works, all of them over many years, praise you, betty ford. this congressional brought along with the rest of the country, especially the women who have been keeping this republic, thank you. [no audio] >> in the name of the holy and undivided trinity, amen. it has been a lifelong dream of
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mine to be the fifth of five speakers in a warm room immediately following cokie roberts. [laughter] today is the day. agnostic folksinger susan werner may have had it right in her 2007 song," probably not." she sings think of that easter day when they rolled the stone away and the apostles said they had seen jesus by the city wall. st. thomas' part was pure and he said yeah, sure and that's what made st. thomas the grooviest apostle of all. you will recall that he is famous for his doubting. he is not certain but if he is the grooviest, it is not because he lacks trust.
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he said unless i see the mark of the nail in his hands, i put my finger in the mark of the nail in my hand in his side, i will not believe. this is not about faithlessness. thomas needed to touch the wound. hearing the story second hand is not good enough. even seeing is not enough unless i put my finger in the wound and my hand in his side, i will never believe. thomas is onto something. he does not suggest that he does not want to believe. he does not suggest that there are no wounds to put his hand on.
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he understands something that is lost to all the others, resurrection life involves touching the wounds. resurrection does not make those wounds go away. resurrection gives the wounds power when they touch people like the one leper intent to turn around to thank jesus for healing him, thomas understands that his own healing is somehow connected to turning back, to giving thanks, to putting his on hand on jesus' wounds. it makes a difference because thomas had a wound or two himself. it may have been physical or they may have been wounds of the soul, the kind that call out to us at night and tell us that we are ugly, that we are stupid, that we have no will
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power, that we are sick, or that we have been bad, that we are not viable, that the love that we do feel is secret or shameful, that we deserve the pain that we feel. these are the wounds of the great lie, but will instead obscure our ability to see ourselves the way god sees us as beloved children, as made in god's own likeness. these are the ones that leave us groping in a spiritual darkness, afraid to open our eyes too wide and once afraid that we might never see or that we might get a good look at ourselves and be unable to bear the sight. this is not a hypothetical type
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of wound. this is lostness that describes the wounded souls of millions of people and its strength is not helped. those who look strong on the outside don't, in fact lack the way. more often, the strong are loveless noise gongs and clanging symbols. enter into that darkness, betty ford. her own wounds by now are well documented in public together with her courage, with her clarity of thought, her imagination, her capacity to put others at ease by risking connection to great joy and to
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deep wounds. yesterday, as i watched in here as a friend of mrs. ford briefed the honor guard about what they should expect when they encounter the ford family, he said the fords will not only speak to them but will inquire with sincere interest about how they are doing, about how their work is going, about how they came to be assigned here today. they will ask these things because that is who they are. that is how they were brought up. in short, betty ford had taught her own family to be christ- like. she changed lives not only by the example of her joys and her struggles but by allowing those of us who have no business doing so to touch her wounds and find the healing in them.
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god's little secret about weakness and strength is that we are perfected in our weakness not in our strength. in our weakness, god allows us to touch the wounds that are all too familiar to us, by those wounds to be healed. when others encountered her, betty ford characteristically would return the gratitude with good wishes but point out that each person who had found her way to health through recovery did the heavy lifting on her own. thank you, she would say and there is some truth in wisdom and wisdom in that.
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betty ford did not heal millions of people by her own strength but by turning around her own example and letting them touch her wounds. many people in this room are alive for that very reason. lives changed, even saved, are hard to measure and hard to count. cause and effect is never as neat as one would like. we never know how many people experienced the novelty of hope because they have watched betty ford share her own wounds with an exacting combination of candor and grace, where shame and fear were stared down at the embrace of an uncertain future. we will never know how many people learned first from betty ford to use the leverage of
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truth telling and recovery and not moral failure. women of a certain era were taught that there are places a lady does not go unescorted. we will never know how many women moved unescorted only by betty ford's example to the new and profound gospel truth that we now hold to be self-evident, that women are created equal to men, that their dignity is god- given and that there are new and better ways to be a lady, a first lady like betty ford.
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to mike, jack, steve, and susan, we commend your mother's dear soul to our lord who knows her wounds and her home as well because she dared to touch god's own life and poured out for others, to command opening the gates of heaven long and wide to admit countless throngs of angels she carries in tow, living and waiting, who found their way through cold darkness by the life of christ, she took to herself and shared so generously. think of that easter day when they rolled the stone away. her heart was there.
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she said yeah, sure and that is what betty ford was the grooviest first lady of all. in the assurance of the eternal life given at baptism, let us stand and proclaim our own faith and say together -- i believe in one god, the father almighty, maker of heaven and earth and in jesus christ, his only son our lord, who was conceived by the holy ghost, born of the virgin mary, suffered under pontius pilate, was crucified and died and was buried and descended into hell the third day he rose again from the death. he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of god the father almighty. from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead and believe in the holy ghost,
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the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting, amen. >> the lord be with you. let us pray. our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those trespass against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, amen.
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[no audio] [no audio]
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>> granted to all who mourn a share of confidence in your father's care that casting all their grief on you, they may know the consolation of your love, amen. >> give courage and faith to those who are bereaved that they may have strength to meet the days ahead in comfort of a reasonable and holy hope, in the joyful expectation of eternal life with those they love, amen. >> o god, the king of saints, we praise and glorify your holy name for all your servants who have finished their course in your faith and fear, for the blessed virgin mary, for the holy patriarchs, prophets, and martyrs, for all your other
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righteous servants known to us and unknown. amen. >> and we pray that encouraged by their examples, aided by their peers, and strengthened by their fellowship, we may also be partners in the inheritance and the saints in light of their merits -- through the merits of your son jesus christ, amen. >> grant, oh lord, to all who have the strength to meet the days to come with steadfast patience. in thankful remembrance of your great goodness and in the joyful expectation of eternal life with those they love. in this we ask in the name of jesus christ our savior, amen.
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>> almighty god, father of mercy and giver of comfort, so we pray with all the more that casting all their care in you in the consolation of your love for jesus christ our lord, amen. >> grant us praise to trust in grandma our never failing love and receive her into the arms of your mercy and remember her according to the favor you bear on to your people, amen. >> god, grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
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living one day at a time enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as the pathway to peace, taking, as he did, the simple world as it is, not as i would have it, trusting that he will make all things right if i surrender to his will. that i may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with him forever in the next, amen.
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♪ ♪ >> give praise, of christ, to your service. though only are immortal, the creator and maker of mankind and we are mortal, formed of the earth and onto earth shall we return for so he went out and created me saying dust to
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dust thou art and to that ye shall return. we go down to the dust yet even at grief we make our song alleluia. unto thy hands we commend our servant's body and we humbly beseech thee. receive her into the arms of the mercy, into the blessed rest of the everlasting peace and the glory and company of the saints in light, amen.
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hhe got a peace who brought again from the dead our lord jesus christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant make perfect in every good work to do his will. working in you that which is pleasing in his site and the blessing of god almighty as the father, son, and holy spirit be among the new and remain with you always. amen. >> let us go forth in the name of christ. >> thanks be to god. ♪
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> the wife of former vice president dick cheney gave the eulogy. former president clinton and former first lady barbara bush attended the ceremony. after this service, mrs. ford was laid to rest beside her husband, former president gerald ford, at the gerald ford museum. this portion of the service is 45 minutes.
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>> a reading from the profit of isaiah -- has fell not heard that the ever living god, the creator -- there is no searching of his understanding. he gives power to the bank and to them who have no mike, he increases strength. even the huge shell thank and the weary. the young man shall utterly fall. they will wait upon the lord to renew their strength. they shall melt ice which brings
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of eagles and they shall run and not be weary. they shall walk and not be thanked. the word of the lord. ♪
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♪ >> if i speak in the tongues of
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mortals at of angels, but do not have love, i am 8 was the god or a clanking symbol. if the right -- if i have power to understand all mysteries and all knowledge and i have faith to remove mountains, but do not have love, i am nothing. if i give away all my possessions and hand over my body so i may boast and do not have love, i gain nothing. love is patient. but this kind. love is not envious, boastful, arrogant, or rude. it does not insist on its own way. it is not resentful. it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. it bears all things, belize all things, hopes all things, endures all things. love never ends. but as for prophecies, they will
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come to an end. as protons, they will cease. as for knowledge, it will come to an end. we know only in part and we prophesies only in part, but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. when i was a child, i spoke as a child, i thought as a child, i reasoned as a child. when i became an adult, i put an end to child is things. for now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face-to-face. now i own -- now i know only in part what i will never fully even as i have been fully known. faith, hope, and love of by. these three -- the greatest is love. >> praise be to god. >> my brother mike spoke in palm springs.
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i had the honor to say a few words about our mother. if the greatest of these is love, like, jack, susan, jack, meat -- we were really blessed. we had a mother and dad had a wife. she knew how to love. we were in palm springs and i was standing in line. i was talking to one of the well-switchers. he said something to me and i had to think about it a while. he said, your mother's funeral is like decommissioning a great, grand ship. i thought about it. she was granted. our family was a fleet of ships. that was the aircraft carrier, i know that. [laughter] this morning i was walking across the bridge to the museum, thinking people, and shaking hands.
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i thought about mom and that idea. if mom was in our fleet, she was a hospital ship. she was the one with the love and comfort. she was the first one there to put her arms around you. when you celebrated a victory, she was there when you had a defeat. she was there to hold your hand. her comfort, which she gave dad , and that idea of the love that everybody saw, this was before the spotlight. with mike, jack, susan, our little kids -- she did that hard, hard, hard work of raising kids. she got us up, but as practice, it got us to school, church, football practice, the dentist, the doctor. dad was on the road a lot serving his country and being a public servant. ma was sold to raise as kids.
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we felt her love. we felt that love long before her spotlight came when dad became vice president and then president. then the country and the world got to see her love. from cancer patients, for alcoholics, drug addicts -- at how real a person she was. they loved her. they just loved her. i sort of share a special bond with mom -- with millions of others, i guess. 19 years ago when i went through my alcoholism, my mother was the first one there to comfort me like she comforted so many others. she was the first one there. it was funny because i remember going to her and saying, mom, i know you have what i in the shoes. i think i am an alcoholic. she was just like every other mother in the country.
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she said, you cannot be an alcoholic. my son is not an alcoholic. i said, stop. you cannot be in denial. you are, like, betty ford. [laughter] you are the poster child for this thing. she was just like every other mother in the country. once things settle down, she gave me one of the greatest gifts. that was how to surrender to god. and to accept the grace of god in my life. truly, i get her arms, i felt like the prodigal son coming home and i felt god's look through her. that was a great gift. but mom and dad left us kids a great legacy and an assurance. i am have been smiling for debt -- i have been smiling four days because i knew were mom is. she is with her maker. she had a personal relationship
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with god through christ. many of us have sat there in our family time and time again -- hundreds of times i sat and help mom's hand and prayed together. we talked about the joy of our salvation through christ. that is what puts a smile on my face. we know dad is there already. mom is heading there now. they gave us a great legacy, a great gift. mike, jack, and susan will tell you the same thing. they used to sit with us at a table or someplace and explain to us how every night they would pray for us. as little kids, growing up, we got to the white house, later -- dad or mom would tell the same story. they would say, your mom and dad every night we go to bed, we pray for you children. at the end we hold hands and
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recite our favorite proverbs. proverbs 3, verses 5-6. to think that my parents every night held hands and were able to say "trust in the lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your path. that is a gift for us -- mike, jack, and susan. thank you, mom, for letting us, living or husband, living the nation with the heart of god. we miss you. god bless you.
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♪ amazing grace how sweeth the sound that saved a wretch like me i once was lost but now i'm found was blind but now i see
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twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved how precious is that gracious fear behind my first --
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through when we have been there 10,000
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years bright shining as the sun amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me
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i once was lost but now i'm found was blind, but now i see ♪ ♪
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please stand. the holy gospel of our lord jesus christ according to matthew. and seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain and when he was set, his disciples came unto him. he opened his mouth and talk to them saying, blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. blessed are they that mourn for a day shall be comforted. blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
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blessed are they which do hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled. blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see god. blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of god. blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute -- and persecute you and shall say all
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manner of evil against you falsely. rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven. for so persecuted they the profits which were before you -- the prophets which were before you. >> reverend homgren, honored guests, like, jack, steve,
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susan, and all of mrs. for's family and friends, in these last few days, so much as been written about betty ford. the words have been wonderful and true. but it is still set to hear because they are also met as a good buy. -- a goodbye to one of the finest, dearest people we have ever known. to each one of us, what a joy it was that the board was part of our life. the last time the nation saw mrs. ford, she was here in grand rapids on that monday will relate her husband to rest. from then on, she was content to go her way and live out her days in the comfort of a few friends, her loving children, and grandchildren. but she remained among the most admired men in the world. public life was behind her, but mrs. ford's reputation was not
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the kind that needed cultivating. just the mention of her name brings good and hopeful things to mind. i get to know mrs. ford about the same time the whole nation did. she was the first lady to come up less than a year before, had been a stay at home mom on crown view drive in alexandria, virginia. what started out as the nixon- agnew years suddenly became the fourth-rockefeller years. at the time, a few unexpected turns came to my own family as well. my husband was called into service by president ford. before long, i had the privilege of knowing the first family. how many amazing memories we shared. when i was around mrs. ford, what always struck me was held so many incredible things could happen to one person -- from suburban life to the white house
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in the space of 10 months -- and still leave were unchanged. through it all, she kept her bearings. across the years, she was the same candid, unpretentious woman. mrs. ford once said that walking out on the south lawn and saying good bet -- goodbye to pat and dick nixon was the saddest day she ever known. no one had any doubt that she met it. mrs. ford was not only elegant and graceful, she was delightfully honest and modest. when she rose high in the world, she observed it could happen to anyone. after all, it has happened to anyone. but when the attention of the world turned in her direction, elizabeth and ford was ready. before december 1973, her life was all about a home and family.
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there was time for little else. in her memoirs she recalled, i was lucky enough to have four children. they were terribly interesting, at least to me. i was a den mother. i was a sunday school teacher. i was an interior decorator, and a peacemaker. she loved her children. susan told me earlier today that she had gone in early july to visit her mom and that her mom, up from her bed, and some are happy birthday. i know with what love she did it. i would like to sing it today on gerald ford's birthday. she is singing to him in have been pre mrs. ford knew how to cook a pretty good meal, or serve one up, i should say. [laughter] i heard a story from the time
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her husband challenged for minority leader. it was an intense contest. a 6:00 p.m. meeting was scheduled. congressman ford refused tuesday for it. i am going home, he said. but the ad made pot roast. she had the domestic arts in hand and she was fierce about their enforcement. she knew how hard women worked in the home and how important network is. but i get a way that many of us can relate to, there were times when she wondered what else she could contribute. she had danced at carnegie hall and sent for photographers before she was a congressman's life. she had dreams of her own, talents of her own that went beyond being beautiful, although she was certainly that. but as always, she said that
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sometimes "i felt like nobody, like i was being left behind." as it turned out, the ford had so much to give the world, so many contributions to make. so many lives she has changed for the better and even saved by her example and efforts. she not only became her own woman, she showed a lot of others out to do the same. when jerry ford was president and wanted to know the first lady's opinion, they did not get a piece, they got the full those periods when a visiting minister confessed at a white house dinner that they did not know how to dance, yet the first lesson then and there that -- from betty ford. when he was unable to read his concession speech in the white house press room because he was ill, it was the first lady who
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stepped forward to read it for him. looking back on all that had happened, she spoke of living a page of history. and betty ford filled that page, and she filled it with style and class and courage. she had not expected her life to be part of history, much less the trials of her life. and yet, when americans remember betty ford, many will always think first of how she dealt with the illness, and how she brought things out into the open where they can be safe and fraud and concord. there are today countless thousands of women who have survived breast cancer, and in many cases you can draw a straight line right back to betty ford. the same can be said of those who struggle with the desolation of addiction, as she did. she once said, "i am not are to rescue anyone who does not want to be rescued.
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i am grateful to and my family -- grateful to my husband and my family for coming to my rescue." betty ford became a witness to the wonderful possibility of renewal and recovery. if she not always sought and found the best treatment, she built something grand and permanent four others in need. her husband's legacy is a time of healing. her legacy, in part, is in place of healing. -- is a place of healing. they taught us so much, that gracious couple from grand rapids that said their cows in this church more than 60 years ago. betty ford -- said their vows in this church more than 60 years ago. betty ford walked through those doors with her handsome boy friend and into a future beyond anything either one of them had a man -- had imagined. and they walked together so
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long. their story has come to an end, and now we say farewell to both of them. but for the rest of our days, we will cherish all that was and be thankful that we knew and loved betty and jerry ford. -- gerry ford. >> to be remembered with joy, betty ford once wrote, has to be
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a kind of immortality. in her 93 years, mrs. ford imparted more than her share of joy. her sense of fun was never sharper than when cutting through the gloom of self absorption or disappointment. not long after leaving the white house in january, 1977, she and the president found themselves on a plane bound for houston and a dinner honoring the legendary coach, vince lombardi. it was the exactly -- it was exactly the sort of road show event that congress men and vice president for had graced thousands of times over 30 well- traveled years. and yet, it was different. for tonight, he was coming as a citizen, and hon. title for sure, but one that he would gladly have postponed in exchange for the four years in the oval office. off as they neared their destination, gerald ford
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involved in some very uncharacteristic brooding. he had expected the group's invitation while still residing at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. he hoped his audience would not feel let down, he said, hearing from in your ex-president. mrs. ford, exhibiting some of the and what offering reassurance, "don't worry, hunnicutt ma is me they're coming to see -- don't worry, honey, it is needed are coming to see any way." [laughter] instantly, his doubts dissolved in laughter. how many times that scene must have repeated itself since the crisp fall day in 1948 when elizabeth plumber walked down the aisle of grace episcopal church with grand rapids most eligible bachelor. of aridegroom's idea honeymoon combinable revolt ball
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game with an outdoor political rally addressed by michigan's favorite son, thomas e. dewey. [laughter] listening to a bunch of politicians declaim on a frosty evening in october in michigan was not an experience the new bride would remember with joy, but it was good practice for a life defined by the unexpected. at the time, betty ford could hardly imagine that while governor dewey would never live in the white house, she would. once there, she quickly established herself as the first lady unlike her predecessors. not content to make history, she became one of those rare figures to make a difference, and lasting difference in our public culture and in our private lives. in time, her name would enter the language, less for her activities in the president's house then for her contributions after she left.
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more than a liberated woman, betty ford was herself a great liberator. next to the family in which she took fierce, and vowed of pride, perhaps her greatest accomplishment -- unbounded pride, perhaps her greatest accomplishment was living beyond crippling labels. she was a trailblazer, he sent a schoolteacher, and a seventh avenue model. she was the feminist next door. a free spirit with a dress code. [laughter] above all, she was a wife and mother. if you have any doubt on that score, just ask mike, jack, steve, or susan. during his years on capitol hill, it was congressman ford's have it to work saturdays at the capitol. often, he brought along one or more of his children.
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the congressman directed them to a nearby battery of manual typewriters. write your mother a letter, he told them. tell her what a wonderful mother she is and how much you love her. all this week, americans have been sending their own expressions of love and gratitude to mrs. ford. the technology may be different, but the emotions are timeless. millions who never met her felt as if they knew that before. millions more wished they could. -- if they knew betty ford. millions more wish they could they took inspiration from her to confront their own demons. in 1974, the fords of grand rapids and alexandria first attracted the public's interest. many assumed the family to be cut from the cost of the 1950's sitcom. after all, hadn't and early
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profile of then congressman for's wife singled out this one time cubs scout den mother for her taste in "quiet suits and slightly more talkative hats. of more labels. more limits. bible forrd's living august 9, 1974, the day's recommended first proclaimed, "i will keep a muzzle on my mouth." it was advice she conspicuously ignored. [laughter] for by then, this lady like a revolutionary -- this lady-like revolutionary, once mistaken for june cleaver, found her voice. she had a history making an appearance on the mary tyler moore show. if nothing else, it showed how far mrs. ford and the rest of us had traveled from "father's nose solve -- "father knows best."
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many pored over her 60 minutes interview in which she candidly confessed to booze, premier of sex, and youthful and drug abuse. when i read your -- one irate viewer wrote in protest to remind mrs. ford of white margaret truman -- of what margaret truman was called the second harvest individuajob in . if "you are not an individual who has only to answer to the family unit, the social negron and a loss of her timidity, state, and nation -- social neighborhood and the law's tough community, state and nation. because of your husband's position, you are expected and required to be perfect." [laughter] it is quite obvious you were never put in your place and told
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by your husband that in this great country of ours you must retain at all times a position of the queen, mother of the year, high school from sweetheart, grandmother of the year, church leader, teacher, nurse, and counselor to american women and girls. there you have it. the tyranny of perfection. betty ford helped to liberate us from that as well. as first lady, she opened a conversation on subjects once banned from the dinner table and around a water color -- the water cooler. she confided and vojvodina's while struggling to reconcile her personal -- confided emptiness while struggling to recognize her personal needs as a political wife. she acknowledged seeking professional counseling. if she distinguished vulnerability from weakness. and she transformed the role of first lady for a country that
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had come along way. for women's health, american history is divided into two unequal time frames, before betty, and after betty. once a lethal silence had enveloped the subject of breast cancer like a london fog. before 1974 polite euphemisms found their way into newspaper obituaries, "victims died from a wasting illness." there were no 1800 numbers to call, no support groups, no self exams. women visiting the doctor's office have never asked -- were never asked, have you had a mammogram? betty ford broke the silence. not for the last time if she became the face not of a disease, but of recovery. if and even as she inspired other women to emulate her
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example, so mrs. ford's sense of humor and perspective helped improve the quality of life for millions of cancer survivors. again, she was an agent of liberation, this time releasing women and men, too, from private cells of secrecy, shame, and feel. greater still was the stigma attached to alcohol and drug abuse, especially for women, whose illness was often confused with moral failings. from the start, mrs. ford insisted that any treatment facility that bore her name must also reflect her special sensitivity toward women and their needs. she wanted it to be affordable, with charges kept low enough, as she put it, that a " -- a schoolteacher in nashville, tenn. for go there for treatment. she insisted that families be a part of this solution, just as hers had been. with the help of her friend,
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neighbor, and fellow patient, firestone, she mastered the not so gentle art of fund-raising to create and sustain her vision. one day, long before ground was broken, she was part of a group whisked off to las vegas on a private plane to see frank sinatra performed in concert. on the way back, mrs. ford told her captive audience all about the unbilled treatment center. of course, she did not stop there. unfortunately, there was nothing readily available on which her fellow passengers could ride out a pledge. ever resourceful, that he found a substitute for pledge cards, and so it came to pass that the first major donations for the betty ford center were written on cocktail napkins on frank sinatra of's plane. [laughter] her physical recovery was matched by her spiritual growth. initially, she resisted putting
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her name on the new facility. what if she fell off the wagon, she asked. later, she went out of the way to disclaim personal responsibility for what everyone else regarded as her most tangible legacy. a higher power was responsible for the betty ford center, she insisted. she was merely an instrument to be used in carrying out his plan. no one was more proud of her accomplishments than her husband. the first one to join the center's advisory board, where he introduced himself to newcomers by announcing, i am a former president, she is the current one. when he was on the road, not a day went by that did not begin and end with a call to the woman he called "my lovely bride." for him, she would always be the glamorous young dancer he had swept off her feet half a century ago. mrs. ford, the more practical of the two, embarked on plastic
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surgery. for a simple reason, she said, she wanted to look like her white house portrait. [laughter] they had always loved new york, and on a theatre visit in 1977, they fell hard for "a chorus line." a frank, funny, poignant tale of aspiring dancers. they were especially fond of the show's great emotional and some, "what i did for love." it could have been written with betty ford in mind. just think of all that she did for love, devoting six decades of her life to a man who read -- who adored her in return, sharing her sorrows, and rejoicing in her triumphs. it was for love that she nurtured four children, according to ballgames and school plays, helping them over the hurdles of adolescence, life
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in the white house, life after the white house, parenting, and grandparents in. for love, she revelled in her extended family and the grandchildren and great- grandchildren who enjoyed nothing more than being in joyous proximity to their beloved gigi. but that is not all that the ford did for love. mining possibility from her own pain, she vanished -- vanisheshe it easier for countless others to follow suit when dealing with addiction. the leadership she provided all entitle her to rank alongside other great champions of women's rights. in her last years, she would doubt the feminist credo, and ( -- the feminist credo first conveyed by her 19th century
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counterpart, elizabeth cady stanton. when the pleasures of use our past, children grown up, married, and gone from of a hurry and bustle of life in a measure over, when the hands of weary and active service, when the old armchair at the fireside are the chosen resorts, and men and women must fall back on their resources, more than once in reserve -- on their resources. more than once in recent years mrs. ford asked her children, "when are you going to let me go be with my boyfriend?" today, her choice is granted. parting is all we know of heaven, wrote emily dickinson, and all we need our help -- are held. in the immediate aftermath the president's funeral, friends have questions mrs. ford's
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insistence on making the long, physically demanding walk to the graveside. it was a walk along the base of the -- banks of the river that she had often taken with her husband. january 3, 2007, was the last time, she realized, that she would make it on her own. it was the least she could do to honor his memory. soon, we will retraced her steps for ourselves. completing the journey begun so long ago by an ambitious war veteran and his elegant bride. hours are 0 is exceeded by our joy, for we know -- our sorrow is succeeded by howard shore, for we know the story does not end in a grand rapids hillside. even as we take leave of her physical presence, we take part knowing that if ford is where she wants to become a reunited with the love of her life, and
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radiant in the glory of her ultimate homecoming. >> next, from salt lake city, the national governors association on border security. then another chance to see the california funeral service for former first lady betty ford, and eulogies from the michigan funeral for mrs. ford. tomorrow on "washington journal" the editor in chief of thinkprogress.org examines how democrats nationally field for president obama and his policies. former homeland security inspector general clark kent and urban reports on airport security since 2001.
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thad allen gomez talked about violent crime along the u.s.- mexico border and the safety of cities in that area. "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. the national governors association summer meeting is taking place in salt lake city this weekend. this session is a discussion on u.s. border and protection. -- this is abouteepak an hour and 35 minutes.
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>> the meeting of the national governors association special committee on stock -- on homeland security and public safety is called to order. i want to thank you for joining us today. good afternoon to you all. the books were sent to governors in advance, and included the agenda, speakers, biographies,
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and background information. to my left is heather, the director for the nga special committee on homeland security and public safety. please see her if you need copies of any of the material or any other assistance. heather is available to brief you on homeland security, homeland defense, and other pape -- public safety issues. the proceedings of this committee are open to the press and all meeting attendees. as a consideration, please take a moment to ensure that your cellphone and all electronic devices are silenced. today's meeting is split into two panels for the purpose of discussion of two very important issues. the first, the united states custom and border protection strategies and operations, to secure our borders. and the resiliency of our
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citizens and communities in the wake of disaster. our first panel will first focus on the department of homeland security is efforts to secure the border. let me begin by saying that each day over 58,000 customers and border protection officials, including border patrol agents, place their lives on the line to secure nearly 7,000 miles of the united states land border with mexico and canada. and 95,000 miles of coastline. these men and women not only provide for our safety and security, but they also work to protect our jobs, our economy, and our livelihood. with the 10th anniversary of september 11 rapidly approaching, we are focusing on how far we have come since the
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tragic day. we are no doubt safer than what we work, but we are certainly not free from threats. many have fought constantly to enter our borders with the sole purpose of attacking us. on a given day cvp apprehends nearly 1300 illegal entrants are caught at official ports of entry. or 600 persons have been denied entry and over 11,000 pounds of goods have been seized. more than 80 fraudulent documents at approximately $400,000 in counterfeit currency. the men and women of cvp are the first line of -- against thieves -- first line of defense
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ieves and threats. despite the dedication of border control and other cvp personnel, my own state of arizona is concerned with the security of our national border and the impact of illegal border crossing and smuggling on our communities, economy, and overall safety. we have seen with our own eyes some of the violence across the border move north into arizona, such as with the death of border patrol agent brian terry. i believe my concerns regarding the safety and security of americans are very similar to those throughout the southwest and elsewhere across our country. i love our law-abiding neighbors in mexico and countries further south. buti want the u.s. to be as secure as is reasonable from
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harm that can come from international lawbreakers and criminals that pose a constant and serious threat to the well- being of our nation. the president recently agreed to extend the commitment of the national guard troops along our border, but more has to be done to protect our communities. if i look forward to discussing this with our first panelist, deputy commissioner david aguilar of the united states custom and border protection. on our second panel this afternoon, we are focused on community resiliency. and how quick communities and individuals can recover after disaster strikes. this is especially important as natural disasters and other emergencies seem to occur with increasing frequency, causing massive damage. from the tornadoes in alabama to the floods in missouri to the wild fires in my home state
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of arizona, it is clear that our communities will never be able to prevent disasters from occurring. while the federal government is able to resist -- assist in the recovery efforts, we must remember that response and recovery must be led by officials of the local level. it is up to the citizens and local communities to determine what they need and where it needs to go. i look forward to hearing from dr. flynn at the center for national policy and how we can foster our communities and our citizens can play more active role in disaster response and recovery efforts. before introducing our speakers this afternoon, i would like to turn to my co-chair, governor o'malley of maryland's, for the opening remarks. >> thank you very much for that great summation of what we will talk about today. there will be ever -- other
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governors at the overlapping meetings that we have here at the nga in the beautiful state of utah. when there are other people here that are part of this important conversation. i want to thank you, governor burk, for making sure that this committee continued. -- governor brewer, for making sure this committee continued. this was created some years ago and there was some discussion about holding it back into -- how many are there? three or four committees. there are multiple committed -- committees that have the effect of dealing with legislature during the sessions. but i want to thank you, governor brewer for making sure we continue this. when an emergency happens, especially large-scale
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emergency, the people look to us to make sure that public safety is guarded and protected, that we have recovered and we are prepared. whether that is in response to incursions across the border, or terrorist attacks, or hurricanes or the like. i want to thank you for keeping this committee going. we also have general -- the general from washington state who is with us, as well as the director of public safety in utah, and betsy martin from the department of homeland security. we also have governor fortuna, who was with us last time from puerto rico. a place that keeps one eye on the hurricane allen. -- hurricane alley every single year. governor, thank you for being part of this conversation. i am from the city of baltimore, maryland, where we have been doing a homeland
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security since 1814. we have always placed a premium on being prepared, being resilient, not sitting back and assuming that our national government can protect us. we believe that the security of our city or our state is one of our most important responsibilities that we have as citizens. as we come up on this 10-year anniversary of 9/11, this is an opportunity not only to remember all of those feelings that we had 10 years ago when our country was attacked from all -- was attacked, but also to reflect on what we have accomplished to make our homeland more secure in the meantime. but we should also ask ourselves what more we can do now to help the county, state, country become more prepared. -- become more resilience. since the day of 9/11, a lot of
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progress has been made on making communications more interoperable for all of our first responders. the successful mission in pakistan recently that seal team 6 completed in bringing justice to osama bin laden. but there is so much more that we need to do in bringing response, prepared this, -- dness, prevention. we would like to prevent every homicide from ever happening. but every unit has prevention as well as apprehension because there is no way to ultimately prevent some of these bad actors from getting through. but the most important defense we have is one another. and we are a citizenry that is taking action. i will turn it over to you to talk about border security.
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>> thank you, governor o'malley. let's turn to our first panelist. we are very pleased to have deputy commissioner david aguilar from the department of homeland security. he also serves as chief operating officer, overseeing 57,000 employees, and managing and operations budget of more than $11 billion. prior to this position, mr. aguilar served for more than 30 years with border patrol and was named chief of the border patrol in july of 2004. as chief, he has had over 20,000 border patrol agents across the country under his command. and he oversaw activities between the port of entry on our northern and southern borders. in march, 2004, mr. aguilar was
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designated the border security integrator for the execution of the arizona border control initiative. the same year, mr. aguilar was also elected president of the southern arizona executive association. thank you for being with us here today. we are very interested in your comments. >> thank you, governor. i must say that as a young man being raised in south texas as an individual actually raised on the border of our great united states and one who has spent over 33 years serving our country and protecting the border of the united states, it is, indeed an honor to be here today to speak to the governors of these great united states about the state of the borders and what is occurring along our nation's borders. the fact that it became dhs is something very personal for us. it is because of the attacks we
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suffered on the horrendous day of 9/11. we have come a long way. as governor o'malley said,we have had some tremendous achievements and successes that we can all be proud of. but even with osama bin laden being there, we still have -- being dead, we still have four vulnerabilities, threats, and risks that our nation will continue to face on an ongoing basis. that is why it is critically important that we maintain the focus, the vigilance, and the efforts to protect our country. and that is what the men and women of our u.s. customs border protection today in and day out -- do day in and day out along our northern border, southern border, and maritime borders. i will speak briefly to how we carry out these operations, how they contrast to what we did before 9/11, and the value of what we do every day in protecting this great nation. one of the things i think it's
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critically important for all of us to understand is that the theory of a thought, or theory of approach to protecting our nation changed dramatically on 9/11. on 9/11, we woke to those horrendous visuals that we had on our television sets. we were devastated by what we saw. but all of us that were concerned to then, and continue to be concerned now with border security, were even more concerned and devastated about what we did not know, we did not know well and had to do to better protect our country. if some of the things we did in the immediate was what we called pushing out the borders, something that had not been done in the past. to the effect that we have now become managers of information, managers of intelligence that is -- managers of criticality that we can use to protect our country.
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programs such aspartnerships in trade against terrorism that is a private-public partnership between the ford global supply chain that brings trade to our borders, to ensure that at any opportunity -- every opportunity we keep bad actors from coming to bear on our global supply chain. programs such as our customs csi, customs security initiative -- container security initiative, where we have officers deployed at 80 -- 86 different ports of entry where they will screen 85% of the containerized cargo before it even leaves the port of that nation. we have over 247 last point of departure throughout the world. there are more people, more cargo and transportation abilities targeting the united states. at the time we have targeting
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capabilities that will take information intelligence and all other kinds of flow that we have amounts the international -- amongst the international intelligence community to basically target any actor that is coming toward our country. in its simplest form, what's cvp and dhs do is keep bad people and bad capabilities from coming into our country. we do this by operating in our ports of entry with over 21,000 customers and border patrol officers that on a daily basis inspect close to 1 million people coming into this country. about 700,000 of them come through our land border ports of entry. about 250,000 come through the
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airports. we have over 50,000 containers a day that come into this country. through our maritime ports of entry. every one of those containers, every one of those persons coming into this country are basically screened by way of watch list and information and intelligence that we have in order to ensure screening of the people coming into this country, the containers coming into this country, to mitigate the risk of anything bad coming into our united states. we do this by way of partnerships with other governments. if we do this by ensuring that our people were trained up to the best levels that we have and we do this by building relationships throughout the world.
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in addition to what we do in the air environment and the maritime and armand, we have now -- environment, we have now doubled our security at ports of entry. we now have over 20,000 border patrol agents patrolling our borders between the port of entry. this coming year -- this year, we will get another 1000 border patrol agents between ports of entry. in the last four or five years we have also added a tremendous amount of infrastructure to our borders between the ports. we have built over 650 miles of fence, border barriers, that is a tremendous asset to our southern border. we have added a tremendous amount of technology that we continue to add on an ongoing basis, technology that gives us the ability to detect, identify, and classified any kind of border incursion between our ports of entry. this is the kind of capability that we did not have enough of right around the 9/11 timeframe.
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but because of all the things that we have done, america is safer. it is a much more secure border. it is a stronger border. it is a more economically viable border because of the safety that we bring to our ports of entry. one of our biggest concerns is insuring the global supply chain is intact, continues to operate with fewer threats, and therefore, our partnerships with other countries are critically important. the outcome of what we have added and we have done, we have now basically ensured that our border communities are safer and that the crime rates along our nation's borders have fallen dramatically. in san diego, in tucson, in el paso, and in mcallen texas, a
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17% decrease in violent crime in san diego. 22% decrease in tucson. 11% decrease in mcallen, texas. and a 36% decrease in violent crime in el paso. in el paso in the last 10 years since we increased our capabilities along the southern border, a passover is virtually next door to what has been called the most -- el paso is virtually next door to what has been called the most violent city in the world, lorez, mexico. over 3400 murders -- juarez, mexico. over 3400 murders in the last year in juarez. in el paso, only 10. and none of them related to any cartel or drug trafficking. that says a lot about the
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security of our border. by coincidence, there was in "usa today" -- there was an excellent ride up recently, a 2.5 page write-up of our southern borders. it talks about the chief of police greg allen, the sheriff in el paso, the chief that i worked with when i worked in tucson, the chief of police in true love as such, calif. -- in chula vista, california. that is 7 miles from the border. all of them speak of the frustrations along the southern border. they speak about what has been put out on both sides. unfortunately, there's a tremendous amount of violence south of us in mexico.
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the government in mexico and our law enforcement partners are putting up very tremendous and heroic efforts in mexico to do everything they can to basically, stem the violence that is occurring. by way of capacity building, partnerships, intelligence and information sharing, we are working closer than ever before, certainly, closer than what i have ever seen in my 33 years of service. of our borders are stable. are they completely safe? no. as governor o'malley said, everyone was that wears a badge, carries a gun, takes the oath of office, does so to prevent any crime happening against our citizens. but the reality is, we are a human race. we will continue to see acts of violence. but our job is to continue, and
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the relentless -- be relentless, to drive the violence down and protect our borders and make sure that our country is as safe as possible. with that, governor, any questions that he might have i will have the -- be very happy to answer. >> thank you very much. that was very concise and a very good description of what we all believe, i think, of what is taking place in regard to our border. i do have a few questions i would like to ask, if i may, and then turn it over for a few minutes for the other governors if there are any other questions. and i do have some questions that i do not know, mr. aguilar, if you have answered or not. if you do not know the answer, you can give it to me in writing.
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i have talked in my earlier comments in regard to some of the apprehension data that has been compiled from the year 2010. what i would like to know is what kind of data we have now concerning 2011. i would like to know, basically, how many people have been apprehended for illegal entry into the u.s. on all our borders. >> absolutely. >> you might want to press that button. >> this one here? >> yes. >> that is a very good question i will place it in context by stating the following. the peak year of activity that we had for illegal border crossing incursions was fiscal year 2000. it was my first year as chief of the border patrol in arizona. in that year, it was a total of 1.6 million apprehensions of
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illegal crossings that the u.s. border patrol made. this year, we are sitting at about 257,000 total. we are about two months out to the end of the fiscal year. that represents an 80% decline from the peak year of apprehension. almost 250 -- of those 257,000 that we have apprehended -- >> all orders? >> yes, south and north and the coastline. of those 257,000, most of those work in arizona. about 42% of those are apprehended in arizona. within arizona, there were problems -- approximately 4600 border patrol officers and about 1000 cvpo officers. placing that in context, and 80% decline from our peak.
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one of the things that i think is also of interest isthe demographics of the people crossing or the following -- because i think it is of interest -- the criminal aliens crossing into the united states now, and i am focusing on arizona, in 2006 there was a total of about 7400 hard-core criminal aliens apprehended trying to come into the u.s. that had probably been deported from the u.s. before, had been involved in some kind of violent criminal activity. last year, the last full year that we have four vital crime statistics across the u.s., that number fell to about 2700. even those dangerous criminal activists, even those numbers are falling. as we began this year, we are experiencing a 40% reduction of -- 44% reduction of arizona specifically of illegal cross
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border incursions. across the entire border, a 31% reduction of illegal cross border crossings. >> how many people have come across the southern border of arizona that are considered by the federal government to have terrorist ties and have been arrested? and how do we know which ones are not being apprehended? it's a very good question. -- >> a very good question. i think i spoke to this during my introductory presentation. one thing that is critically important is that the u.s. government has the capability of screening literally 100% of the people that are trying to come into this country legally through our ports of entry and our airports.
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if we keep out a lot of people, such as the ones you have described, the ones that match the terrorist databases and that we have intelligence on, etc. as it relates to those coming into the country from special- interest countries -- not special interest aliens, but the countries -- we have apprehended about one-tenth of 1%. that is about 384. keep in mind, that includes the wall universe, elderly -- the whole universe, elderly individuals, young kids, all of those that make up the universe of special-interest countries. of the total number, it is less than one-tenth of 1%. of the mexicans -- those that -- other than mexicans, which
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includes anybody that we apprehend that come from other than mexico, about 13% are mexicans. -- about 13% are classified as terrorists. that is the whole universe of the people originating from those countries that are special interest to us. >> it would not be classified as a terrorist? >> no, they would not. >> what is the number that would be classified as terrorists? is that something that you have, or do you need to get back to meet on that? orix i do not know if natarus has been apprehended coming true -- >> i do not know if a terrorist has been apprehended coming through arizona. i can check that and get back to you. but i feel very comfortable making that statement. >> you have all done a great job getting the southern border somewhat contained in texas and california.
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and it is on the way in arizona. that is our concern, that we are feeling the effects of all of the illegal immigration, and the criminal element that is coming true. through.hroug we appreciate the fact that the amount of crime that is closer to the border has been declining. reports come back to me -- and i have not documented it, but i have also heard from other counties that it has risen. i would like your comments on that. >> the issue of criminal activity, i think the best thing we can do is put into context the negative statements that are made by some in the law-enforcement community. they feel about what they are putting forth is information that needs to be put out.
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i know most of these individuals. i have worked for these individuals over the years. i think the best thing we can do is to put in context the statements of, not just one or two or three or four, but all of the law-enforcement community along the southwest border. when we talk about a couple of statements made by individuals that say that the border is out of control, or there is a spillover violence or things of that nature, we must put that in context with the ralph ogdens of the world, a highly respected sheriff, greg allen, a tremendous chief of police in el paso, texas. richard wiles, a sheriff in el paso. of lupe trevino and his fellow
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sheriff's in south texas. they're basically saying it is a safe southern border. as to the issue of what is occurring in arizona, it is important that we note the following. if there are things that i would go to as baseline flows of illegal aliens that will continue to come into this country as long as they believe that they can cross illegally and gain employment in this country. they will continue to come. we will continue to apprehend and arrest every one of them. there is going to be a base line flow of individuals attempting to cross. in addition to that, and this is almost an embarrassing statement to make, but a very valid entry statement -- and a true statement that unfortunately and
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ironically, this nation has a thirst for our products. as long as that thirst for narcotics is there, there will be a base flow of that coming into this country. as we speak today, customs and border protection has apprehended 2.6 million pounds of narcotics this fiscal year. between the ports of entry, the united states for control has apprehended over 1.8 million pounds of narcotics. >> how does that compare [unintelligible] >> compared to last year, it is pretty much even. as compared to 10 years ago, it has risen. the footnote there is that we are not having to dedicate from an enforcement perspective as much time on the illegal cross border incursions because illegal immigration has fallen. we are able to dedicate more time to the narcotics trafficking, and therefore, are
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apprehending more. the outcome of course, is that there is more cost to it and things of that nature. i think is absolutely critical. arizona, we are actually calling it our last stand on the southwest border because we feel confident that we have hardened and reinforced and placed enough resources on the southwest border that if they try to come back in some of these other locations, we will have enough resources in place to basically hold the gains that we have made. we are currently trying to close down arizona for both illegal immigration and narcotics trafficking, recognizing that when we do -- not if, but when we do -- there will be a reaction around the coastlines. that is where we are working
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their farmland in pr, in fact, -- we are working there and in puerto rico, in fact, working with our dog the partners -- dod partners in those places. >> mr. aguilar, i appreciate your comments of about sheriff of fynn and others -- sheriff ogden and others that they feel they do have the situation under control. crime has lessened, if you will. illegal alien crossings have lessened, which is a good thing. that does not mean it is under control. i know there has been a general accounting office that said that we have about -- anyone who has
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read the newspaper or watch the news realizes things have improved. we are grateful that things have taken place, but somehow we need to get better operational control of the borders. we are grateful. we do not want these people coming across our border illegally. and we'll continue to do those kinds of things.
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trouble at your own risk. we have a problem. we need to get operational control. when are we going to get our borders more secure? are we going to see our federal government bring us more? again, and we have the national guard here today. i'm covering my border. yeah, thank you. i believe that we are just not going to resist because we know that there is going to be spillover. if we see it. we know what happens and we know it is not believe the civil rights of the people coming because they want to come and work, but they are being harmed by the heat if nothing else, and we are the drug cartels

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